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January 30, 2020
Contact: HHS Press Office
[email protected]

Secretary Azar Statement on 2018 Life Expectancy and Drug Overdose Death Data

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics released final data regarding life expectancy and deaths from drug overdoses in 2018. HHS Secretary Alex Azar issued the following statement:

“In 2018, for the first time in more than two decades, fewer Americans died of drug overdoses than the year before, and for the first time in four years, American life expectancy rose. This news is a real victory, and it should be a source of encouragement for all Americans who have been committed to connecting people struggling with substance abuse to treatment and recovery. The drop in overdose deaths shows that the President’s new level of focus on the opioid crisis, and the administration’s science- and community-based efforts to combat it, are beginning to make a significant difference. But our work is far from finished, and there are some disturbing trends, such as rising rates of methamphetamine overdoses. Using these data and the best science we have, the Trump Administration will continue its deep commitment to improving the physical and mental health and well-being of every American.”

Read NCHS’s new reports, on life expectancy, drug overdose deaths, and maternal health here: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/index.htm

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other news materials are available at https://www.hhs.gov/news.
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Last revised: January 30, 2020

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